Allen CV
Seismo Lab
Earth & Planetary
UC Berkeley

T-larmS: Why wait for a tsunami warning?

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T-larmS could provide local tsunami warnings. A natural extension of earthquake early warning algorithms is to also predict tsunami heights for subduction zone earthquakes. T-larmS does exactly that within minutes.

T-larmS is in the early stages of development by Diego Melgar at the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, but testing suggests that tsunami alerts could be generated in 3 minutes. This approach could be used to provide local tsunami warnings in Cascadia, Chile and many other subduction zones around the world.

Technical details about the system can be found in our publications

T-larmS starts with the G-larmS-generated estimate of slip on a fault. This is used to estimate seafloor deformation, which is input to a tsunami propagation codes to calculate tsunami wave height along the coastline [Melgar et al, 2016]. Many tsunami warning centers are currently not able to provide warnings fast enough for local tsunamis which strike in minutes or tens of minutes, but T-larmS would allow them to do so.

Illustration of possible timeline for tsunami warning using T-larmS (left) for the M8.3 Illapel, Chile earthquake of September 16, 2015. On the right are the determinations of national and international agencies. The tsunami alert was a sucess for this event; 1 million people were evacuated up and down the coast of Chile. PTWC is the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center from the United States, CSN the Centro SismoloĢgico Nacional of Chile, SNAM is the Sistema Nacional de Alerta de Maremotos of Chile, ONEMI is the Oficina Nacional de Emergencia del Ministerio del Interior of Chile, and NEIC is that National Earthquake Information Center from the United States.

Modified from Fig 3 of Melgar et al, 2016


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